Govt official blames canceled tourist reservations on Qasr al-Aini clashes

Hesham Zaazou, deputy tourism minister, on Sunday warned that tourism in Egypt could be negatively affected by recent violent incidents, including the current clashes which started at the cabinet building in Cairo.

Tourist-sending countries have begun procedures for canceling reservations, Zaazou said, adding however that some trip organizers have instead inquired about Egypt's security status.
The ministry has instructed its offices abroad to follow media coverage of the clashes and run polls to determine trip organizers’ responses. They will submit official reports on these reactions for review by Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Zaazou added.
Lost confidence in Egypt as a tourist destination "is more dangerous than the cancelation of reservations," he said. 
Cultural tourism, which represents between 20 and 25 percent of incoming tourism, will be highly affected due to frequent violent clashes in Cairo, Hesham said, while tourism in the Red Sea is unlikely to be affected.
Nagy Erian, a member of the Egyptian Hotels Chamber’s board of directors, said the tourism sector has been struck by the cabinet clashes. He expects losses of around LE300 million daily.
“The incidents led to the cancelation of some reservations,” he said, describing the rate of reservations as poor in comparison to this time last year. He added that he expects more cancelations.
He also expressed a fear that violence will reccur, saying this would destroy this winter's tourism.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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